It is hard to believe that the new strain of Covid-19 has been found in the UK. The approval of the SARS-COV-2 vaccine just gave a new hope to the world. The world was about to win the war against the coronavirus but the new variation of Covid-19 found in UK threatened the world once again.
What is the new strain of Covid-19?
It is not wrong to say that Viruses change and mutate all the time. Some viruses mutate every year. According to some health experts, viruses can also mutate several times in a month causing a very rare situation when the genetic code of the virus changes strongly and make it more powerful than ever before. Since the year Covid-19 has been detected, it too adopted several changes but now scientists are more concerned over the new mutant of Covid-19 identified in the United Kingdom.
According to Matt Hancock, UK’s health secretary, “A new variant of Covid-19 is out of control and we need to bring it under control.”
Where did the new variation come from?
The virus that started from Wuhan and spread worldwide, is not the same one that you will find in different parts of the world. Viruses mutate and sometimes the mutation is powerful causing more serious infections. This is the reason we can say that some countries were more infected with Covid-19 while the others easily overcame.
Here the question arises , where did the coronavirus come from? Did this originate in the UK? At this point the perfect answer is impossible. Although, health medicals have claimed that this variant might have emerged in a patient with a weak immune system who was unable to defeat the disease. His body became the breeding ground for the virus to mutate and rise further.
The first strain of Covid-19
The new variant of Covid-19 was first identified on 18th December 2020. According to some reports, this new coronavirus first occurred in Britain in mid-September. Later London too detected the strain of new virus. The new variant of Covid-19 is named VUI-202012/01 (the first variant of coronavirus identified through investigation in December 2020).
Susan Hopkins of Public Health England said that they notified the UK’s Government and WHO on 18 December after finding the new strain of Covid-19 more serious. It spread quickly in the southeastern part of the country from where it emerged first. Later it emerged as a dominant form of the virus there.
Symptoms of the new coronavirus
The new strain of Covid-19 is named B.1.1.7 lineage. The symptoms of the new variant are the same as those of the old virus. The symptoms are high temperature, loss or change in sense of smell and taste and dry cough. But what differentiates it from old coronavirus is its way of entering the body. The new strain of coronavirus is 70 percent more infectious. UK claimed to have witnessed about 62 percent increase in COVID-19 cases in the week of December 9th as compared to the cases three weeks earlier.
UK imposed the strictest lockdown
It is the time of Christmas eve and millions around the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas. President Boris Johnson announced to impose the strictest lockdown in the Kingdom and cancel the celebrations of Christmas.
Flights banned to and from the UK
During this time, several European countries have also shut their borders to Britain due to the concern over new rapidly spreading coronavirus strains. The entire world is also banning its flights to and from the UK amid the rising concerns over the new covid-19 strain.
South African strain of Covid-19
This weekend several countries imposed travel ban on South Africa. There were claims about finding the UK’s Covid-19 strain. At this point, South African Health officials declared that the new virus mutation found in South Africa is different from the one found in the UK. The new variant found in South Africa is named as 501.V2.
Is Covid-19 vaccine protective against the new variant?
Scientists have yet not clarified or presented any evidence regarding the Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness against the new strain of Covid-19. In conclusion, following up the explanation, the South African doctors said they are studying if the vaccines against Covid-19 will be effective against the new variant.
Who are more at risk?
According to some reports, children and young people are more likely to get infected with the new variant more speedily. Moreover, the features of this virus are still the same as of the old Covid-19. However, old people and people with pre-existing health condition are more at risk to fall severely ill with the new virus.
Since November 2019, Coronavirus has affected millions and thousands have lost their lives. We are still in a state of war. All we can do is, follow the preventative measure to remain safe from the infection.